(Sung to the tune From South Pacific. And yes, this is likely to be a very silly post.)
It’s Week 44 in The Year of Drinking Adventurously. Bloody Mary.
I love a Bloody Mary. My ex-brother-in-law’s step-father, Sheldon, (long story) used to make the best Bloody Marys. Then he went and died without telling anyone his secret ingredient. Don’t you hate when that happens? Listen, if you have a secret recipe for something, for heaven’s sake write it down, lock it away where no one can get to it, but at least leave it behind for posterity. I’ve been trying to replicate it for twenty years.
Bloody Mary purists look away. The guide this week featured not just the classic bloody Mary (vodka, tomato juice, tabasco, Worcesterchire, salt and pepper and a stalk of celery) but a host of variants. Apparently there’s a place in Portland called Tasty and Sons (Lula I’m thinking you’ve been there!) which has a Bloody Mary menu. They offer something called a Tasty Mary which is fairly traditional save for the addition of horseradish, lemon and house pickles (I think this was old dead Sheldon’s secret ingredient, personally and the reason I can’t replicate it is because he used to buy the pickles from Goldstein’s Deli in Kingston, PA, two hours away) and swapping out the tabasco with Sriracha sauce.
They turn up the Eastern volume with a drink called the Dim Summore, which uses hoisin, lime and ginger. The Lady Vengeance (named for a Korean crime film) replaces vodka with rye whiskey (right there it quits being a Bloody Mary for me) adds in kimchi juice (gross), lime, fish sauce (even grosser), and Korean chili salt.
The bar also has a variation of the Bloody Maria which swaps out the vodka for tequila. It’s called the Cholullan and uses Cholula hot sauce, pimento and Calabrian chiles. Last but not least is the Scandinavian version called the Tasty Maiken, which has dill, pickles and Aquavit instead of vodka.
All right, whatever… Truth is, I am likely to keep working on my own twist on the classic. So this weekend, I experimented with the basic recipe and came up with this: The Bloody (Margaret) Mary:
2 oz premium vodka (life’s too short to drink cheap booze)
3 oz tomato juice (I make mine fresh with Italian plum tomatoes and season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon horseradish
2-3 dashes tabasco sauce
dash of Lawery’s seasoned salt (no MSG!)
1 teaspoon pickle juice from a good kosher dill pickle
garnish with celery stalk
Rot in hell, Sheldon.